meMichigan high school students are invited to become cyber warriors this Fall and compete in the second annual Governor’s High School Cyber Challenge.  The competition is designed to test student knowledge of information technology and cyber security.

"Michigan has a progressive cyber security education and training program, and this high school competition is an excellent way to build interest in a cyber security career path,” said Merit Network President-CEO Joe Sawasky. "Cyber threats continue to grow, and there is a real need to bring new professionals into the field."

There were 94 teams in the 2016 competition.  Registration for the three-person teams is free and there are sample questions online now as Round Zero.  Schools may register more than one team.  

“The High School Cyber Challenge is helping students forge pathways into cyber security by engaging them in exciting, hands-on activities that are relevant to their future.  A student that can begin this pathway in high school will have many more opportunities available through their education, allowing them to quickly gain employment in a field that is growing and highly relevant in our world,” said Cyndi Millns, Cyber Curriculum and Instruction Specialist at the Pinckney Cyber Training Institute.

Round One of the Cyber Challenge will take place online Monday - Thursday, October 2-5.  Participating school teams of three students and one adult coach will receive challenge questions on programming, operating systems and hacking topics each day. The challenges must be completed by each team between 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. daily.  

Round One is an open-book style, and students are encouraged to research the Internet to solve the proposed challenge. The top ten teams will advance to Round Two.

The second round of the High School Cyber Challenge takes place live at the North American International Cyber Summit (NAICS) at Cobo Center in Detroit on October 30, 2017. Travel and accommodation funds are available for teams traveling from outside the area.

During Round Two, teams compete in a virtual Capture the Flag exercise designed to test their skills with an intensive, timed series of cybersecurity-focused challenges. Round Two is an exercise in gamified learning. The focus will be hacking the virtual city of Alphaville.

In this round, students are able to interact with each other and compare progress on a public scoreboard. In the event of a tie, the Michigan Cyber Range will measure team strategy to determine the winner. 

The top three teams from Round Two will receive special awards during the NAICS. All teams must have three students and one adult coach/administrator.  More information and registration can be found at merit.edu/cyber-challenge.

The Governor’s High School Cyber Challenge is run and facilitated by Merit Network and the Michigan Cyber Range, in partnership with the State of Michigan. Event sponsors include Deloitte, Juniper Networks and ADVA Optical Networking.

About The North American International Cyber SummitThe North American International Cyber Summit 2017 hosted by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, will once again take place in the heart of Downtown Detroit at Cobo Center. The event, in its sixth year, will bring together experts from across the globe to address a variety of cybersecurity issues impacting the world. The Summit is scheduled for Monday, October 30, 2017.

About Merit Network

Merit Network, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities. Merit owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. In 1966, Michigan’s public universities created Merit as a shared resource to help meet their common need for networking assistance. Since its formation, Merit Network has remained on the forefront of research and education networking expertise and services. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations. For more information: www.merit.edu